This is the case for many businesses, particularly those in the agricultural sector and those based in rural areas that rely on a liquid fuel to power their operations.
Many are taking advantage of the significantly lowered oil price, purchasing and storing additional oil now and planning to deliver energy savings when the colder weather begins to bite in autumn.
As the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown starts to ease for businesses across Northern Ireland, many will face increased energy consumption as production returns. Whilst the government is providing many businesses with financial support during this time, the falling oil prices are also providing substantial relief to companies.
OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings commented, This is an unsettling time for most businesses, with most facing unprecedented financial concerns. They are looking at how they can save money in the months ahead. The good news is that oil prices are currently low, and with your own storage you can fill up your liquid fuel for the months ahead.
Adding: Reassuringly we are seeing an increase in the sale of bunded oil storage tanks that meet recent government regulations in this area and help prevent loss while safeguarding the environment.
OFTEC issued advice to businesses on ways to save on energy in the months ahead:
- Benefit from low oil prices now. The price of oil is c.50% lower than this time last year now is a good time to fill your oil tank for the months ahead, saving you money across the year. Oil suppliers are essential workers and can supply to your business during this time but be sure to observe social distance and do not interact with the driver.
- Speak with your energy provider. Always speak with your distributor and agree a payment plan for your business energy needs.
- Check your oil tank regularly. To ensure all caps, lids and vents are secure. This is vital to prevent damage from rainwater and other contaminants.
- Ensure you meet the regulations. The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (NI) require all Northern Ireland businesses with any above ground oil tank over 200 litres to be provided with 110% secondary containment. This is easily achieved by fitting an integrally bunded tank. An OFTEC registered technician can offer advice on the type of tank that will ensure your business meets the current regulations and help you avoid potentially significant fines and/or clean-up costs, which can often be excluded from insurance policies.
- Book your tank service for future. Get a date in the diary for post lockdown, hopefully in autumn/winter, to get your business tanks and boilers serviced. An annual service will ensure your boiler runs more efficiently, improves safety and could reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%.It is also vitally important that tanks are checked for any damage and filters are replaced. Confirm with the OFTEC technician how best to use your heating settings to ensure you are using your heating systems efficiently.
In addition to energy saving advice, OFTEC is also providing a voice for Northern Ireland business energy users as part of the NI Energy Strategy. The organisation is calling on the NI Executive to endorse and support the industry’s proposal to move oil users from fossil fuels to biofuels. OFTEC claim it is the least costly and easiest way to achieve sustainability in Northern Ireland’s liquid fuel sector. Adoption of a biofuel solution will allow the use of existing equipment and with a commitment to deliver a 100% sustainable liquid fuel by 2035 will help in the plan to reduce carbon emissions.
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